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Police pressed on peace line murder

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The RUC might have failed to prevent the death of a man shot at a west Belfast peace line 20 years ago, an inquest heard.

Liam Thompson, 25, was gunned down near a joint police and Army station in New Barnsley and a solicitor expressed concern about potential collusion in his murder.

Gemma McKeown, a Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) solicitor, requested an expert opinion on what could be seen from the station. Counsel for the police has said no CCTV is available.

Ms McKeown said: “Given the serious allegations of collusion, this is a very serious case in which there is an allegation that there was a failure to prevent loss of life by the RUC.”

She added: “We would be very keen to explore what the potential viewpoint and vantage point would have been from the barracks in question.

“There is an issue about whether it could have been prevented.”

Mr Thompson, from Dermott Hill in Belfast, was shot dead by gunmen near the peace line at Springfield Park in April 1994.

Barrister Stephen Ritchie, representing the police, told the Belfast preliminary hearing: “There is no CCTV footage of that time.”

Information relating to the inquest is expected to be available by late September, Mr Richie told coroner Suzanne Anderson. Another preliminary hearing was scheduled for then.

 

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